Tony Cordi, President of The Innate Group, was recently interviewed by local food critic and author, Richard Foss, for an article about the emerging trend of meet up over food and drinks in the South Bay and the role of professional collaborations in making it all possible. The article appeared in The Easy Reader on June 27, 2013.
Money on the table: success and failure in the emerging South Bay restaurant scene
Fifteen years ago, the South Bay barely registered on the regional dining scene. There were several good restaurants and a few excellent ones, but major media critics ignored the area, and it would have been laughable to suggest that people would soon be coming from the West Side and Beverly Hills to dine in Manhattan Beach.
Nobody would find that idea humorous any more, as top chefs have moved in just as locals have garnered respect. It’s more sophisticated by an order of magnitude, and with modern cuisine have come modern business practices.
Chefs may know everything about their sauté pans and spices but nothing about how to structure a corporate entity or negotiate a lease, and the quality of that deal plays a large part in the financial success of a creative endeavor. We glamorize chefs, but often ignore the active investors who play a part in shaping the local dining scene. I interviewed restaurant broker Tony Cordi, Mike Zislis of Circa and Strand House, and Mike Simms of Simmzy’s and Tin Roof Bistro about the dining scene in the South Bay and how the business has changed in the past decade.
From real estate agent to restaurant developer
Tony Cordi has stakes in several restaurants in Manhattan Beach, including the soon-opening Board Room on Highland near Rosecrans, but limited experience in an actual commercial kitchen. “I’ve worked in restaurants for a day or two here and there, just helping out,” he said. “I’ve bussed a few tables, taken orders, but never worked a whole shift. As for cooking, at my house it’s mostly salads and vegetarian, and it’s usually not me making it. I used to cook when I was younger, but haven’t done it much for eight or nine years.”
It seems like little practical experience for someone whose livelihood is based on the culinary industry. Still, Tony says he is doing much more than just handing cash to the people who do all the work.
“My area of expertise is about pulling the deal together, negotiating the lease or leases, everything about getting it up and going. More often than not there will be a general manager who will actually run the property. My job is getting the doors open.” …continue reading
The Innate Group: Taking care of business
The Innate Group was formed in late 2011 initially to facilitate the selling and acquisition of buildings and businesses for our clients in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County. It became apparent soon thereafter that we could provide even greater value by adding consulting services as well. We not only help find properties, businesses or other investment vehicles, but we arrange for their divestment or restructuring as well. We believe that we are effectively helping reinfuse client companies with good business health. We do this by providing consulting services and access to a wide range of resources to help our clients thrive.
Thank you for visiting our site. We look forward to helping you make things happen!
Here are snapshots of some of our current business listings for sale: